Belfast Telegraph

How June went from sizzling to drizzling in Northern Ireland

Heatwaves and hosepipe bans of last year a far cry 12 months on

Liz and Chris McFerron walk their dog Bella at Helen’s Bay beach yesterday
Liz and Chris McFerron walk their dog Bella at Helen’s Bay beach yesterday
Saha Boyle, Nicole Beggs and Lucy Spratt at Helen’s Bay this time last year
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

This time last year we were basking in the hottest June weather recorded since 1846.

Such was the intensity of the heatwave this time 12 months ago, a hosepipe ban was introduced - the first for over two decades - to conserve water.

It also prompted public appeals from NI Water for householders and gardeners to act responsibly.

In other parts of the UK there were health warnings for the public to be careful of the effects of extreme heat.

However, there's no sign of a repeat of the appeals any time soon after the Met Office quashed hopes for another scorcher yesterday by revealing the rest of the month will be largely soggy.

Temperatures have also disappointingly failed to reach the high mercury levels of June 2018.

Yesterday walkers along Helen's Bay in Co Down were forced to wrap up against a chilly 13c breeze.

It's a big contrast to last June, when the beauty spot could have been mistaken for the Mediterranean coast.

Last year the Armagh Observatory reported Ulster had enjoyed its hottest June in over 170 years, with Derrylin in Co Fermanagh reaching 30.4C.

At the time Translink also had to reduce the speed of its trains as a precaution to prevent tracks from buckling in the extreme heat.

On a more positive note, Met Office meteorologist Helen Roberts said Northern Ireland escaped the yellow warning in place yesterday across England, Scotland and Wales, which brought flood warnings.

But she cautioned the coming weeks would remain unsettled for us and to expect a few showers today - although skies could clear in the afternoon and early evening to make way for brighter spells.

"It is likely to be a day of sunshine and showers," she added.

"It will be a decent start, but showers breaking out until the early afternoon and will be fairly hit and miss."

With a lingering low pressure, Ms Roberts warned that Saturday and Sunday are set for more unsettled weather with outbreaks of heavy rain.

"It is a big contrast to last June, but it does seem there will be brighter spells with less rain as time goes on," she said.

"All we can look at are the trends, there are some signals we'll get something brighter in the southern parts of the UK.

"But for Northern Ireland, it will remain fairly unsettled for June, that's not to say there won't be some brighter spells at times."

Temperatures have been slightly lower than average this week at around 13-14C due to a band of low pressure making its way across Ireland and Britain, the meteorologist explained.

Belfast Telegraph


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